According to available statistics, there are about 29,000 inmates in correctional facilities in North Carolina.
If you suspect that your recently missing friend, family, neighbor, or employee is one of them, there are a couple of ways to either make absolutely sure or rule out that possibility.
Inmates in state penitentiaries are managed by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (NCDPS).
Checking the NCDPS database is quick and simple, thanks to the department's inmate locator tool.
The process of identifying inmates in the state's county jails is a lot less straightforward, though.
In this article, we'll explain a few ways of locating inmates in holding facilities in North Carolina.
What are Inmate Records in North Carolina?
As the name implies, inmate records are official documents prepared for offenders incarcerated in any correctional facility in the state of North Carolina.
These documents are typically created by the arresting law enforcement agency and stick with the offender throughout their stay in the system, sometimes even beyond.
Inmate records carry such information as the inmate's name, personal identifying details, details of their offense and conviction, sentence, and expected release date.
Since inmate records are considered public (per the state's Public Records Law), members of the public can typically access them on request, as long as the desired records are not confidential.
The NCDPS is the sole repository of inmate records (basically inmates incarcerated in state prisons) and the department maintains an easily accessible online database.
The story is slightly different in county jails. Records of inmates are typically managed by the holding facility, which makes the records available for public scrutiny on their official websites or physical request.
Third-party websites are not left out too. These platforms are authorized to search government records and display results on their websites.
Quite a number of them offer these services for free, although quite a few others request payment for access to these records.
How to Find Inmates in State-run Prisons in North Carolina Online
The simple way to locate anyone currently being held in a state penitentiary in North Carolina is through the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
This agency maintains a regularly updated database of inmate records, which members of the public can access through the NCDPS inmate locator tool.
To use this handy tool, all you need to do is provide the name or ID number of your search subject. On providing these details, the system will search its database for matches for a few moments.
As soon as there are positive matches, the system will display results with similar details as what you provided.
Clicking on any result will bring up further information about them, including personal details about them and administrative information relating to their offense and sentencing.
The database also includes records of parolees, escapees, and absconders.
How to Find Inmates in Jails in North Carolina
Offenders whose sentences are shorter than one year are typically sent to county jails in North Carolina.
Each of these county jails is responsible for managing the records of their inmates, as there's no single repository of jail inmate records in the state.
In the absence of an online inmate locator tool, individual county jails usually publish the names of current inmates on the official website of the said jail.
These lists are often updated regularly, and all you'll need to do is visit the county jail's official website and look for the jail inmate section.
Alternatively, you may visit the sheriff's office and make your search in person.
Through Third-party Websites
A lot of people prefer to perform background and other checks on third-party websites due to the ease and convenience they offer. For one thing, these platforms are not restricted by geographical barriers.
For another, as long as there's a record to be found, third-party websites will find it, regardless of whether your subject is held in federal, state, county, or private institutions.
Using third-party websites helps cut down wasted effort as well as time.
To search for an inmate on one of these websites, simply locate the strategically placed text boxes and input the name (some websites request a few other details) of your search subject, then click search.
The system will bring up a list of matching records, and clicking on one of them will open up further details about them.
As noted earlier, some third-party websites provide their services for free, while others may request payment or at the very least ask you to register on the platform.
Abruptly losing a friend, relative, or acquaintance without a trace can be hard, and the forbiddingly large number of people currently incarcerated in correctional facilities in the state makes the search appear extremely daunting.
However, thanks to online databases and third-party websites, finding inmates in prison in North Carolina may not be quite so challenging after all.